Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Regional Meeting, Whittier Bridge, Brother's, High School Super Bowl, Essex Heritage Annual Fund


Essex Heritage Announces January Meeting with Mayors, Managers and Area Legislators

In the next week or so, Essex Heritage along with its senior partner, the National Park Service, will be sending invitations to all of the area Mayors, Town Administrators and State elected officials to come together to continue dialog on issues affecting this region. The breakfast meeting scheduled at the Marriott Hotel in Peabody in late January 2010 will feature a presentation from Congressman John F. Tierney, who will provide an overview from Washington, and will also comment on the continuing work of Essex Heritage as a convener, collaborator and an organizer of projects in this region. At the meeting, plans for 2010 and beyond for the Commission will be unveiled, and input from area legislative and municipal leadership will be sought. Members of the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees and Trustee Emeritus will also be in attendance at the breakfast meeting, so in that way a continuing discussion of matters of importance to the entire region can be continued. Salem Five Bank has agreed to offer sponsorship of this important regional event, and their participation is welcomed.

Essex Heritage Supports the Whittier Bridge Replacement Project on Route 95

On December 7, 2009, a public hearing has been scheduled at the Salisbury Town Hall to allow public comment on a significant public works project that will certainly impact the residents of Amesbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury. As with all public projects we encourage interested residents from the region to attend the meeting and voice your thoughts on this project. The Whittier Bridge /I95 improvement project and the planning and progress on that project will be open for discussion at that time. The work that will be accomplished to complete this project and the potential and the opportunities for the region will all be a matter of public interest. Essex Heritage is certainly interested in the project and the impact on the region as planning and construction proceeds, but the Commission has an even greater interest in seeing that the projects current lack of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations is addressed. Essex Heritage through its longtime support and leadership of the Coastal Trails Coalition and the Border to Boston Rail Trail project has and will continue to play an important role in the development of alternative transportation programs in this region. Essex Heritage, Director of Heritage Development, Bill Steelman, serves as the President of the Coastal Trails Coalition, and manages the regional coalition that is helping to develop the Border to Boston effort for this region.

This is a wonderful project for this region, and the commitment of $285 million and the job opportunities that will be created as the bridge replacement and attendant road upgrades takes place in the region will be a boon to the local economy and we are most supportive of the project. We encourage the planning organizations that are managing this project to consider the bicycle and pedestrian needs that can be associated with this project, as they also can be a boon to the local economy.

Guest Server Tomorrow at Noon at Brother’s in Danvers

At noon tomorrow, I am going to be at Brother’s Restaurant and Deli in downtown Danvers as the lunchtime Guest Server. Brother’s is a wonderful place to enjoy a lunch, and I look forward to meeting and greeting new and old friends alike from noon until 1:30 p.m. Others from the Essex Heritage staff will also be with me to answer any questions you might have about the work of Essex Heritage. Come and visit with us and at the same time, enjoy a wonderful lunch.

Congratulations to Local High School Football Programs

Last night at several locations around the region, three area high schools won contests that will send them to the State Football Super Bowl games on Saturday, December 5, 2009. Gloucester High School, Marblehead High School, and Masconomet Regional High School will all represent the region this weekend. We congratulate them on their success to date and wish all of the participants and their followers well this weekend.

Essex Heritage Annual Fund Continues

If you believe that the partnerships that Essex Heritage has developed over the years that have helped bring the region together and the programs that have been created that helps focus attention on all that the region has to offer are positive events, then you might want to offer your financial support. The Essex Heritage Commission began life over a decade ago, and was originally funded almost totally by a congressional allotment offered through the National Park Service. Over the years, the federal funding commitment has been steadily reduced as more and more Heritage Areas have been created across the country. That is a positive sign that more and more regions of this country are now experiencing what the residents of this region have been enjoying for the last decade. The reduced federal funding commitment has allowed Essex Heritage to “reach out” to more and more resources for continuing support. For a time until the current fiscal crisis hit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts hard we were making up for some of the lost federal funding with financial support from the State, but at least for now, that funding has disappeared. Many wonderful corporations and small businesses in the region have offered continuing support to this effort, and we annually receive meaningful financial support from residents from nearly every one of the thirty-four communities that we swerve. If you want to be among the residents that support this effort with financial support we would welcome those contributions. Right now as 2009 comes to an end, Essex Heritage is currently conducting its Annual Appeal for funding. If you wanted to offer your support so that our efforts can continue uninterrupted please consider a financial gift today. On the Essex Heritage web site at it is easy to offer support, and we thank you in advance for even considering supporting this program.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts at Thanks. Tom Leonard

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